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The University of California work stoppage supporting pro-Palestinian protesters has now grown to include five campuses, with academic workers at the University of California, San Diego and Santa Barbara joining Monday those already striking at Los Angeles, Davis and Santa Cruz.

UAW Local 4811, the UC systemwide union staging the walkouts, says it represents 8,000 San Diego employees and a further 3,000 at Santa Barbara. Add those to the workers the union says it represents at the other participating campuses, and more than 25,000 employees have now been called upon to strike.

“We are asking UC to join your academic community on the right side of history,” said Joyce Chan, a postdoctoral scholar in San Diego’s neurosciences department, in a union news release. “We have been beaten and arrested for calling for peace and exercising our right to free speech. To stop the spread of this strike, UC needs to make serious progress towards resolving these ULPs [unfair labor practices], beginning with the withdrawal of all criminal and disciplinary charges against our coworkers who have been arrested for protesting peacefully.”

The strike began May 20 at Santa Cruz. The union says its members, who include graduate student workers, postdoctoral scholars and other academic employees, have been among those arrested and subjected to university discipline at multiple campuses for their participation in pro-Palestinian protests.

It’s unclear how many of the 25,000 workers now called to strike are actually withholding their labor. But a spokesperson for the UC system—which also is threatened with a walkout at Irvine starting Wednesday—said in a news release before the Monday walkouts that “the ongoing strike has resulted in significant disruptions on campus, posing harm to students, faculty and staff.”

On Monday, the system announced that it “will file a breach of contract action against UAW in state court as a next step.” The system has argued the strike is illegal because it violates no-strike clauses in the union’s contracts.

“Now that UC has exhausted the PERB [California Public Employees Relations Board] process for injunctive relief, UC will move to state court and is hopeful for quick and decisive action so that our students can end their quarter with their focus on academics,” said Melissa Matella, associate vice president for systemwide employee and labor relations, in the system’s release.